New Dean Looks to Resurrect the Howard University School of Divinity

Although he has been on the job for a year, Alton B. Pollard III was formally installed last month as dean of the Howard University School of Divinity. Before his appointment last year, the divinity school had been without a permanent dean for five years. Enrollment was down and the school’s campus, which sits apart from the main campus of Howard University, had fallen into disrepair.

Pollard has a grand vision for the 141-year-old school. He wants to broaden the ethnic makeup of the student body and to bring in more students from different religions and religious backgrounds. Pollard wants to reinvigorate the school’s relationships with area churches. He plans to increase the size of the faculty and to rewrite the curriculum for the first time in two decades. He hopes to establish a Ph.D. program and to offer joint degrees with the law, medical, and business schools at Howard.

Pollard came to Howard from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. He is a graduate of Fisk University and holds a master’s degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Duke University.